Do you remember?

Everyone has feelings of nostalgia from time to time.  It can be of memories either happy or sad.  This is a piece about a couple who are no longer together. It’s mostly fiction but drawn from some of my experiences.  I also wanted to play around with narrative styles.  This isn’t technically 2nd person since I still use the 1st person “I” predominantly, but it’s worth noting that I think it’s a very under-rated writing style.   I find the use of 2nd person very intimate and  when used well it can be a much better vehicle for transporting the reader into the scene.

**********

The warm kitchen lights were bright enough to light the tiny apartment. Chilly air crept through the opened window. I shivered, but refused to close the window because the room was still filled with cleaning chemicals, having just finished cleaning the place. I plopped down on the couch in victory- or defeat, I’m still not sure which. Conquering the dishes, piles of paper, books, and miscellaneous clutter took longer than we had counted on.

I was sitting on our broken blue couch, holding my camera that I thought I had lost. This time I vowed to keep everything clean. I couldn’t believe my camera had been in the apartment the entire two months.

You walked from the kitchen to the couch, a big smile on your face. “I told you it wasn’t gone forever! The apartment just ate it up,” you said to me. You wrapped your arms around me as we nestled into each other on the couch. Laying my head on your shoulder, I looked up at you and smiled. You always did know how to make me feel better.

I glanced back down at my hands. Browsing through the pictures on my camera, I finally came to the most recent one. I had taken it two months ago, right before I misplaced it in the black hole that was our apartment. That wouldn’t do. It was unacceptable to go over two months between pictures.

Spontaneously I reached out and snapped a quick photo of us. You were unprepared, and protested when the flash went off. “You need to warn me before you take a picture!” You said, pouting. I giggled and held the camera back up.

“Okay, ready?” I asked. You nodded and gave the camera your fake smile. I took another picture. We both looked at the results. Blurry. “Aww! That one would have been so good if my hand didn’t shake!” I was disappointed. I hit the back button on my camera to see the first picture. Surprisingly it wasn’t bad.

We were comfortably cuddling on the couch. You were looking down at me with nothing but love on your face. I wore a huge grin. We looked completely happy. We were completely happy. It was the perfect snapshot into our lives. In that moment it was just us. We didn’t have to worry about work, school, or even chores around the apartment. There was no distracting television or movie on. There wasn’t even music setting a mood, because we made the mood.

I suppose it was one of those rare moments where everything fit perfectly together. I wasn’t aware of it at the time. I wasn’t even trying to capture the moment. All I was doing was warming up my long forgotten camera. It’s funny how the world works that way. Everything comes together when you stop expecting it to.

If only it would have stayed that way.

There’s a dull ache when I look at this photo. Do you feel it too? Do you even remember this picture? But-I’m being too sentimental. It might be best for me to throw old photos out. My nostalgia weighs too greatly on my mind. But you never had that problem. And maybe that’s what hurts the most. The fact that you don’t think about me nearly as much as I think about you. You’ve moved on in ways that I can’t bring myself to. I don’t want to forget, to let go.

So I keep this photograph around. It reminds me that once upon a time, we were perfect together.

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About Aly Hughes
Unprofessional, unedited, unpublished. Aly is out to make a name for herself by blogging, twittering, facebooking, and general internet-ing. Be warned: She may not know what she's talking about.

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